Title: Fractionation of nitrogen isotopes in solar energetic particles,

Authors: P. Bochsler and R. Kallenbach,
Reference: Meteoritics 29 (1994) 653-658

Abstract: In a further step to assess processes leading to the complicated secular trend of the isotopic composition of N implanted in lunar regolith, we investigate mechanisms fractionating solar energetic particles (SEPs). We conclude that such mechanisms are likely to occur, most probably producing an enrichment of 15N over 14N in SEPs over the photospheric abundance ratio. Simultaneously, 22Ne is enriched over 20Ne but to a lesser extent. An enrichment of the heavy Ne isotope is observed in the suprathermal solar particles, implanted in the lunar regolith. Hence, the now well-established difference between the isotopic composition of suprathermal Ne and solar wind Ne in the lunar regolith might be taken as evidence for the validity of this model. The present-day fluxes of energetic particles produced in impulsive flares events, capable to produce such isotopic fractionations are, however, orders of magnitude below the required amounts to explain the lunar observations. The details of the secular variation of the N isotopic composition remain an enigma.

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Last Update: May 15, 2000, James Weygand